George Forrest VC

b. 1800 Dublin, Ireland. d. 03/11/1859 Dehra Dun, India.

George Forrest (1800-1859) was born in the St Michael’s Parish district of Dublin, Ireland in 1800. Very little is known about George’s early life prior to service in the armed forces, and sadly no image of him exists either.

George Forrest VC Medal (no image of George Forrest VC exists)

George began an Army career and by the time of the Indian Mutiny breaking out in 1857, he was a Captain in the Bengal Veterans Establishment, as he was now 57 years old, and too old to serve in the regular Army. Following the outbreak of the Mutiny at Meerut, the troubles spread rapidly, and soon the rebels were closing in on the city of Delhi.

The target for the rebels as they entered the city was the Delhi Magazine, the central store of guns and ammunition. George Forrest found himself one of just nine men who were left defending the magazine against the rebel forces, heavily outnumbered. The men quickly hatched a plan which was if the magazine was at risk of falling into rebel hands, they would blow up the magazine and themselves. Led by Lieutenants George Willoughby, the men laid the explosives and as the rebels got closer, the men had to carry out their plan. The magazine was blown. Sadly, five of the men were killed in the explosion, whilst four men (Willoughby, Forrest, John Buckley and William Raynor) managed to miraculously survive. Willoughby was killed in action just two days later, whilst the other three including Forrest were taken captive.

Forrest remained in captivity for the remainder of the Mutiny, but was released in 1858 when it ended. By this time, Forrest along with the other two survivors of the Delhi Magazine, Buckley and Raynor, was awarded the Victoria Cross (18th June 1858). Forrest was presented with his medal in Landour, India by Major Troup on 2nd November 1858. Sadly, Forrest would only hold his medal for a short time, as just over a year later, on 3rd November 1859, at the age of 59, he died at Dehra Dun, India. He was buried in a mausoleum in Dehra Dun Cemetery. His medals were sold following an auction at Dix Noonan Webb on 18th November 2020 where the price they went for was £145,000. They were purchased by Lord Ashcroft. 



(SOLD FOR £145,000 ON 18/11/2020)